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Re: head butting
>I think you'll find that very few horned (or antlered) species really but
>heads in interspecific combat. They more normally fuss around until they find
>a position they like and then hunker down and push. The only real butters that
>I can think of are mountain goats and their horns are built to but as they
>are very robust where the heads (horns) would hit. Its safe relatively
>speaking. So maybe if one thinks of the horned beasties rutting around vice
>charging it might work out.
In most ungulates (hoofed mammals) heads rarely come in contact, and if
they do it turns into a display of dazed stumbling. The contact is usually
horn rack to horn rack, than as you say a pushing match.
A buck rams it's opponent , but a horse kicks it's opponent (yes yes no
horns), however there is no real difference in the cervical spine of the
two. I mean, no adaptation in the buck for ramming, for example larger or
thickened vertebra. A Cape Buffalo, or a Ram, even though more robust
overall than a buck still have no real adaptation to the cervical column.
The adaptation is in the horn rack.
Is there any living animal that has a cervical adaptation to a
proportionate extent that Triceratops has? Granted there is no living
animal with a huge horned frilled head alive to study, but if there is
something alive the reason for those cervical adaptations might shed some
light on the ramming verses display question.